KNOWING full well that they are inimical to human health and safety, President Rodrigo R. Duterte now
wants a total ban on firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices in the Philippines.
This came in the wake of the huge decline in the number of injuries and fires caused by
exploding firecrackers and lighted pyrotechnic devices in the recent New Year revelry.
The Department of Health (DoH) attributed the drop in firecracker-related injuries to
President Duterte’s executive order limiting the use of firecrackers to designated areas.
In Davao City, where the lawyer and tough-talking Chief Executive was a long-time mayor and
prosecutor, firecrackers are banned.
Roque, a former solon, said this local policy he had initiated, instead of a recommendation,
must have prompted Duterte’s proposal for a nationwide ban on firecrackers and pyrotechnics.
Roque said Duterte’s decision to ask Congress to pass a law prohibiting the use of
firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices was reached during a Cabinet meeting in Malacañang last Monday.
Aware of the impact of the ban on the firecracker industry, which employs some 75,000
individuals, Duterte asked the Department of Trade and Industry to look for alternative livelihood
for displaced workers.
We agree with the government that the state, through concerned offices, should employ all
means to help all those to be adversely affected by the proposed total ban on firecrackers and
We will be drawing the ire of affected workers and their families, particularly those in the
province of Bulacan, if the government fails to address the problems of workers in the firecracker
That’s why we doff our hat to President Duterte for asking our lawmakers to begin tackling
the proposal so that voices of all stakeholders in the industry would be heard.
Certainly, it is time to discuss the pros and cons of outlawing the manufacture, sale and use
of firecrackers in this impoverished but manpower-exporting Southeast Asian nation.